Woodland play and adventure
Kids’ stuff that adults love too, from swinging across a stream to whittling wood round a campfire. There’s fun for all in our wild and wonderful landscapes and parks.
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Enjoy the great outdoors along woodland trails. You can walk for miles here, moments from the M4, through a woodland rich in wildlife and tranquillity.
Come and be part of the restoration scheme that is uncovering and restoring to its former glory an amazing Victorian garden of cascading water and dramatic sweeping terraces.
Experience wonderful encounters with nature in our parks, gardens and woodlands, from twilight walks with bats to seeing the secrets of the hive.
Go wild in the woods – go on, you know you really want to
Want some fun for the children? The natural ‘playscapes’ at the National Trust’s Colby Woodland Garden near Tenby in Pembrokeshire have masses to keep them happily running wild for hours. No ‘keep off the grass’ signs here. Children are encouraged to swing on a rope across the stream, balance on stepping stones, climb the trees, build a den, take a net and go pond dipping, or hunt for butterflies. And when they are totally exhausted there is a cosy café with a log fire and its own wildlife library for a spot of reading and a refreshing drink.
Discover remarkable trees
Giant trees have splendour of their own. Touch the knobbly bark of the century-old cork tree at Margam Country Park near Port Talbot and, while you are there, examine the shape of the leaves of the pair of 200-year-old tulip trees to see how the species got its name. Then see how many people it takes to encircle the girth of Margam’s 200-year-old fern-leaf beech tree. If you have a head for heights, take up the Go Ape! challenge based at Margam for a tree top experience.
At Colby Woodland Garden near Tenby in Pembrokeshire, see if you can guess the height of the Japanese red cedar (one of only 250 designated ‘Champion Trees’ on the register of the British Isles). At Bryngarw, Bridgend the special tree to look for in the Japanese garden is the 100-year-old Ginkgo biloba, a species that traces its ancestry back to prehistoric times. As a bonus in autumn, the distinctively shaped leaves turn pure gold. Peer along the 25-metre yew tunnel at Aberglasney. It’s 400 years old and unique in the country, being made out of single plants that have been bowed over and pegged down the other side. To find the most unusual use for a tree, look at the tall pencil sculpture at Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea. It is actually carved from the long-dead trunk of an old monkey puzzle tree as a tribute to the great poet Dylan Thomas who played in the park under the shelter of the trees as a child.